September 2012  
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
Volume 9 Issue 7   www.offassist.com

Planning Ahead

school 2012September already?! I’m excited, because this is the month I get my quiet home office back! My educator husband is back in school and so are my kids. That last is a bit more bittersweet than usual since my oldest started middle school this year.

I can’t believe it’s September already.  Can I just say again how great all of my clients and team members are? My neck injury in late March really derailed my plans for this year on both a business and a personal level. 6 months later, though, I finally feel like myself again and am eager to get back to work without all the delightful distractions that a family home for the summer brings.

Now, for serious stuff. Do you have an emergency plan for your business? If you were suddenly derailed for six months by something, whether it was your health (or that of a vital employee), your family, or even a natural disaster, would your business continue to operate?

If you don’t have a plan to cover these sorts of contingencies, then your business plan isn’t complete. Many small businesses that experience a major disruption (natural disaster, illness, etc.) do not recover and end up closing their doors for good, either immediately or within 2 years of the disaster.

For more information on disaster planning for your small business, check out this great resource page from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In this issue...


Video Marketing Tips - Creating A Video That's Worth Your Investment
By Reed Slidell

There's a new trend in the promotion of online businesses and that comes in the form of video marketing. It is the process of advertising a venture through short videos that can be uploaded not just in the site of the business but other sites too. These videos are expected to capture hundreds of millions who now opt to watch ads rather than read or listen to them. In this article, we will specifically talk about some effective video marketing tips on how to create a video that will surely be worth your investment.

First things first, you must know that videos for internet marketing are very different from other videos used in TV ads or big screen ads. They are a lot crisper and direct. While some of them can last as long as five minutes, this is already too long in the eyes of the online viewers. Since internet people are always in a hurry, they don't typically have patience longer than an inch. If you are prudent, you must ensure that your ad is only as long as several seconds. Of course, you can make it longer in other occasion, but that would highly depend on the message you wish to get across.

The next thing you ought to know about video internet marketing is it has to be posted on a site (or sites) that has quality content. It may already be drab to hear the cliché "Content is king," but in this context, it does ring true! See, if you put your video ad on a site which doesn't really have a reputation to brag, what is there to watch? Only a site that the public loves can encourage click-throughs. This is because they alone are worth listening to. Hence, make sure that you only post your video to a site you have built a spot-free reputation.

Third on this list of video marketing tips is the vitality of uniqueness. While a lot of entrepreneurs have started creating their own video ads, this doesn't mean that you will just do as they do. You have to come up with ideas that will break away from the norm. Your goal must always be to make your video stand out; to facilitate strong recall among the audience so that they will take action right after watching what you made for them. You cannot attain this end unless you beg to differ from all the rest.

These are the effective video marketing tips you must follow when you wish to embark on the new trend in running an ad campaign. They are easy and effective so there's no reason why you shouldn't give them a try. Remember that a video ad can require quite an amount of investment, not just monetary but physical and emotional too. If you want to guarantee that your efforts will pay off, be properly guided on how to go through the entire process well. Ensuring that you do it prudently can secure successful results too.

About The Author: Reed Slidell says, "Want To Learn More About Online Video Marketing? Visit http://www.australianinternetmarketing.com/"

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Bookkeeping Tip

I’m having reconciliation issues!

Q: Is there a way to do a search in QuickBooks for a transaction with a certain dollar amount?

A: Yes there is! You can perform a search that is as detailed as you want to help you find a transaction.  You can find this function by going to Edit and then Find. There are options to do a simple search (dollar amount, invoice number) or a more advanced search where you can narrow down the search even more.

Note: Check with your accounting professional before doing this to be sure that's how they'd like it done. YMMV!

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Tax Deadlines
September 17
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
- Partnership Returns Due - FINAL DEADLINE
- Corporate Returns Due - FINAL DEADLINE
- S Corporate Returns Due - FINAL DEADLINE
- Estate & Trusts Returns - FINAL DEADLINE; Bankruptcy fillings use the same form
- Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 3rd Quarter Estimated Tax Payment
- Corporations - 3rd Quarter Estimate Tax payment Due
- Estates & Trusts 3rd Estimated Tax Payment
- Deadline for Corporations and Partnerships to fund SEP-IRAs for previous year

September 30
- Last day to establish SIMPLE plans for current year
- Time for businesses to consider setting up retirement plans

October 15
- Personal Returns due - Nonresident, US income, etc. - FINAL DEADLINE
- Personal Returns due - Easy - FINAL DEADLINE
- Personal Returns due - Not Itemizing - FINAL DEADLINE
- Deadline for Schedule C filer to fund SEP-IRAs for previous year
- Net Operating Loss - Eligible Small Business carry back loss
- US Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return - FINAL DEADLINE
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
- Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500, if on extension
- Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500-EZ, if on extension

October 31
- 3rd Quarter Payroll Taxes Due
- Employer's Deposit Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) - if total due is more than $500 through Sept 30th
- 3rd Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher - Form 720
Tech Talk With Tom...

Windows 8 Pricing
By Carol Mikel

Well, Windows 8 is right around the corner. There has been a lot of talk about the new “Metro” interface and how programs will move seamlessly from PC to tablet to phone. But, no one has really talked price. I mean, didn’t we all live through the Vista debacle in the very recent past? Many of us paid for Vista and then turned right around and bought Windows 7.

Microsoft knows some people will put off buying until there are a lot of good reports, but they are trying to make the upgrade just a little more tempting: with a much lower price than in the past!

If you own Windows 7, Vista, or XP your price will be $39.99 to upgrade. You will be able to download the upgrade for that price or buying it locally for $69.99. Another note: This gets you Windows 8 Professional, not some cheap, stripped down “Home” version.

Need a new computer now? Most major retailers are offering a $15 upgrade coupon so that you can upgrade to Windows 8 when it is available. A nifty way to have you cake now and eat it later, too!

If you aren’t familiar with Windows 8 or its new Metro interface, take a look! I personally find it really promising though I wish they had introduced this two years ago before I went Android crazy. But, better late than never.

Tom Beauchamp is the marketing and tech expert behind OffAssist. He can be reached at tom@offassist.com.

Carol Mikel is the owner of Next Level Office Solutions and works with small business owners helping them to market their business through social media.

Spotlight On...

Spotlight: Zooming In

This month we’d like to introduce to you to Mike & Christina Meade, the husband and wife team behind Zoom Moving Pictures (ZMP). Christina will tell you there’s not much she can’t help with, but her specialty is online presence and buzz building for businesses and author. Mike is the man behind the camera and handles shooting and editing client videos for websites, webinars, music videos, and more.

ZMP is a Houston-based firm; they shoot video in and around the Houston area. Already have video but don’t know what to do with it?  Zoom Moving Pictures can editing raw footage into a finished video, too. The Meades specialize in doing the things that their clients don’t want to do and freeing up those clients to do the work they are passionate about.

Christina says, “Our tagline is. ‘Lighten Your Load ~ Do What You Love.’ We really do believe that you should do what you love. We live it. Mike & I both quit jobs that we hated and did nothing to bring joy into our lives. We love what we're doing and enjoy helping others.”

Want to learn more about how the Meades can lighten your load?  Check out Zoom Moving Pictures’ website at zoommovingpictures.com. Feeling social? Follow Zoom Moving Pictures on Twitter at @ZoomMovingPic.

Have you nursed a secret longing to be in the spotlight, center-stage, all eyes on you?

If you would like to be featured in the OffAssist spotlight column, and have not been featured in the past twelve months, contact Patty@OffAssist.com and we'll see if we can put you in the limelight.

Fine print: We do reserve the right not to feature anyone and a request is not a guarantee that you will make it into the newsletter. Also, if your news, announcement, etc. is time sensitive or tied to a specific date, please let Patty know in your email.


Have an article you'd like to write for our monthly newsletter or want to be spotlighted? Have a QuickBooks question or something you'd like to see in the Tech Tip?

Email candy@offassist.com.

The OffAssist newsletter is made possible by the copywriting/editing skills of Ink Think VA, and the coding talents of Time Is Of The Es-Cents.